by Peter H. Morgan, DC
The World Chiropractic Alliance (WCA) has coordinated and supported a number of humanitarian chiropractic mission trips in 2013, including a return visit by chiropractors to Haiti. The trip took place in October and involved a team of 55 DCs.
The effort was definitely in keeping with the new mission statement of the World Chiropractic Alliance, which states that the organization is dedicated to: “develop, promote and support humanitarian programs that reach out to populations that, due to geographic or economic factors, cannot access chiropractic care.”
Although team members stayed at a Four-Star hotel on a beautiful white sand beach, with a view of the mountains behind them, the trip was anything but a fun vacation.
Each morning, we rose at seven, grabbed a quick breakfast, and were out the door in a half hour’s time. In two rented buses and three SUVs, we fanned out to reach 20 different destinations.
The group was divided into 10 smaller teams, with each unit going to a school in the morning and a church in the afternoon. At each school, we taught the “Straighten Up America” program and checked about 250 children. When we pulled up at the churches, thousands of people were usually lined up waiting to be adjusted.
Each 10-person unit cared for as many as 600 people a day, meaning the whole mission team saw more than 6,000 people a day for four days straight. We not only check and adjust each individual, we tell the chiropractic story to groups of 50 at a time. This is awesome and fun work. Giving for the sake of giving, giving out of our own abundance, using the blessing that God bestowed upon us: our healing hands.
It’s been nearly two years since the devastating earthquake hit the island in January 2010. In many ways, little has changed since then and, in some ways, things have actually gotten worse. There was a cholera outbreak in the quake’s aftermath, and other diseases run rampant as well. During each trip we’ve made to Haiti in the years since the earthquake, we adjust many with cholera. At one orphanage, all 100+ children I see have fungal infections on their heads. Some have never owned a toothbrush.
Exhausted, this trip’s mission team members returned to the hotel each evening to share a meal and swap stories of the miracles we’d witnessed that day. Then we’d hold an impromptu chiropractic philosophy roundtable, and even teach and review chiropractic technique.
I’m back in New York now, but I get phone calls and e-mails from Haiti every day. “Please don’t forget us. Please help us,” they plead. I tell them we won’t forget. Ever. And we’ll be back to help. Again and again, until we bring chiropractic healing to every one of the people in that area.
(Peter Morgan, DC, is head of Mission Chiropractic, and has led dozens of chiropractic humanitarian missions to developing nations. He is the chairman of the World Chiropractic Alliance Council on Humanitarian Efforts. Dr. Morgan and Tim Merrick, DC, serve as the WCA’s NGO representatives affiliated with the United Nations Department of Public Information.)